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How to care for your baby's skin


Studies have shed light on the vast differences between adult and infant skin. Infant skin is more 'active' than adult skin – it's constantly developing at a rapid pace. It's more vulnerable to irritants, changes in temperature and changes in humidity. Therefore, you need to protect your baby's skin against environmental changes and harsh cleansers.

You'll also need to make sure their skin is properly moisturised, to help maintain a healthy barrier against bacteria and other infections.

Choose the right cleanser and moisturiser

When you find yourself washing your baby's face and hands more frequently, it's a good time to transition to a cleanser that gently restores moisture while gently cleaning their skin.

Always use a moisturiser after washing your baby. Your baby's skin absorbs water rapidly, but it loses it just as rapidly. That's why regularly moisturising your baby's skin is a good way to protect against dryness.

Try baby massage

A nice way to monitor the healthiness of your baby's skin is through massage. It gives you an opportunity to go over the entire surface and to check for dryness or chafing. But that's not the only benefit: as your baby grows and undergoes developmental changes, massage can help ease transitions. It provides many emotional and physical benefits for your growing baby, to:

  • Calm them when they're agitated – massage has been shown to reduce the circulation of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream.
  • Increase their sense of wellbeing – massage has been shown to stimulate endorphins, which can lift your baby's mood.
  • Ease wind and constipation – stroking their tummy can help disperse air.
  • Release tension caused by, for example, teething.
  • Relax their arm and leg muscles.
  • And, of course, to help them develop a close and trusting relationship with you.

Baby massage can also be calming and relaxing for you, and knowing that your touch is comforting your baby can make you feel happy and confident as a parent. Just remember to follow your baby's cues to help you know if they are enjoying the massage. And be sure to use a moisturising lotion or oil to help with the massage. Good choices include JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion and JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil. Whichever you decide to use, you will find that massaging your baby is a wonderful way to bond and to help maintain their healthy skin.

NOTE: don't massage your baby if they're sick or if they've just been immunised – the area of the injection may still be sore.

Your baby's skin will change rapidly throughout their growing years. It's very different from yours – it needs special protection to keep it clean, moisturised and healthy. Remember, healthy skin is not just an aesthetic nicety. Healthy, properly moisturised skin forms a barrier against bacteria and other infections. So start now to safeguard your baby's healthy skin for a lifetime.

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